UEFI Booting

  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    Guest:
    The 3rd release of SpinRite v6.1 is published and may be obtained by all SpinRite v6.0 owners at the SpinRite v6.1 Pre-Release page. (SpinRite will shortly be officially updated to v6.1 so this page will be renamed.) The primary new feature, and the reason for this release, was the discovery of memory problems in some systems that were affecting SpinRite's operation. So SpinRite now incorporates a built-in test of the system's memory. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for some very handy tips!

    /Steve.
  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

    The participants here, who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience, their successes and some frustrations with booting their computers into FreeDOS, have created a valuable knowledgebase which will benefit everyone who follows.

    You may click on the image to the right to obtain your own copy of BootAble. Then use the knowledge and experience documented here to boot your computer(s) into FreeDOS. And please do not hesitate to ask questions – nowhere else can better answers be found.

    (You may permanently close this reminder with the 'X' in the upper right.)

Steve wrote this in the SR dev forum, so I guess we are going to get it sooner rather that later! Wooohhh.

As Ern said, SR v6.1 does need DOS. But we've seen that systems
like yours are becoming common enough that they have changed my
priorities in favor of quickly dropping DOS in favor of native
BIOS/UEFI operation without any reliance upon DOS.
 
Steve wrote this in the SR dev forum, so I guess we are going to get it sooner rather that later! Wooohhh.

As Ern said, SR v6.1 does need DOS. But we've seen that systems
like yours are becoming common enough that they have changed my
priorities in favor of quickly dropping DOS in favor of native
BIOS/UEFI operation without any reliance upon DOS.
Steve also wrote this in the Readspeed release history
  • So far <<knock on wood>> when ReadSpeed runs, it has run perfectly. The only trouble anyone has had, has been getting their machines to boot from their prepared ReadSpeed USB stick. The typical reason for trouble is lack of system support for BIOS booting. The move to UEFI is well underway, which explains my change in SpinRite's planned Roadmap. I will make SpinRite v6.1 available to everyone as quickly as possible. Then I'm going to immediately move to support for UEFI and liberation from DOS, which is incompatible with UEFI. This will happen ahead of SpinRite's support for USB and NVMe mass storage, which in planned to immediately follow.
How times change, below is email reply's from Gregg (his tech support guy), from the end of last year (2019), when I had no legacy option on my Dell 7590.

"All of the UEFI firmware we have encountered, so far, has also supported "legacy" BIOS functions specifically to continue to provide support for BIOS-dependent client programs."

"This is the first time that I have heard of or seen any system that cannot boot to a DOS-based external boot device (CD or USB)."

"I did forward your note to Steve so we will see what can be done for future versions of SpinRite."

"I did not hear from Steve on this particular issue . . . I usually do not since it is pertaining to future SpinRite."

"There is no time line on the next version of SpinRite nor when this particular issue will be addressed."

I would like to think I played a small part in spurring him on to get this UEFI problem sorted out! :)
 
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I wonder how hard it would be to make FreeDOS work on UEFI? I don't know much about the underpinnings, but it sounds like a lot of the core functionality would be lost anyway that FreeDOS has now. Maybe I'm wrong?

Perhaps, emulation of the functions is possible?
 
@MrObvious: I think we will find out once @Steve starts working on it. Since all my current computers are Microsoft Surface Books and don't support legacy boot, I can't wait.
Likely it will be a ground up approach. The only other thing I can see Steve doing is possibly using a BSD/Linux based boot, depending on licensing (which is why *BSD may be chosen). That may be the course of least resistance and best in terms of going forward.